AUDIO | International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on August 31st each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. International Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable.
In 2019 Overdose Awareness events were held in Nanaimo, British Columbia, as well as across Canada and around the world. Comments given at the Nanaimo event (on August 29th) were recorded for later broadcast on People First Radio.

Part one…We share comments by Nanaimo mayor Leonard Krog, Ilan Goldenblatt on behalf of Nanaimo-Ladysmith member of parliament Paul Manly, and former Nanaimo mayor Bill McKay, along with content from an article by two senators encouraging long-term treatment facilities that treat the root causes of drug addiction with trauma-informed care—without wait lists.

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Part two…We share comments by Central Vancouver Island medical officer of health Paul Hasselback and content from the Globe and Mail health columnist Andre Picard. His article is titled “Alberta’s study of drug-use sites discriminates against only one kind of drug user.”

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Part three…We share comments from Kevin Donaghy, executive director of the Nanaimo-based New Leaf Outreach peer-to-peer collective, content from an article titled “It’s time for Canada to embrace the legal regulation of drugs,” and comments by Amber McGrath (who works with SPAN, a Nanaimo-based Sex Professionals Alliance) and Tanis Dagert, facilitator of the Nanaimo Community Action Team.

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